Video: Ken Starr knocks Liz Cheney’s group for “Al Qaeda 7″ ad — on Olbermann’s show

posted at 10:00 pm on March 8, 2010 by Allahpundit

There’s a headline I never thought I’d write.

This would be worth posting even if the subject wasn’t interesting as it’s a preciously rare example of a conservative being admitted to cable news’s most notorious partisan echo chamber. Peruse “the list” for yourself; the only Republicans allowed are those promising to criticize other Republicans. And speaking of criticizing Republicans, either Starr’s not familiar with Olby’s oeuvre or he’s an extraordinarily forgiving guy, because among the modern-day Murrow’s many, many, many memorable pronunciamentos over the years, you’ll find this from 1998:

“Can Ken Starr ignore the apparent breadth of the sympathetic response to the President’s speech? Facially, it finally dawned on me that the person Ken Starr has reminded me of facially all this time was Heinrich Himmler, including the glasses. If he now pursues the President of the United States, who, however flawed his apology was, came out and invoked God, family, his daughter, a political conspiracy and everything but the kitchen sink, would not there be some sort of comparison to a persecutor as opposed to a prosecutor for Mr. Starr?”

Just an innocent physical comparison. Means nothing, I’m sure.

We’ve already debated the “Al Qaeda 7″ ad but DrewM’s post at Ace’s site has some thoughtful elaborations. He’s right to note that the legal services offered to jihadis by top-flight firms wouldn’t be offered to most defendants accused of serious crimes, but then most defendants accused of serious crimes don’t face the risk of a show trial that Gitmo detainees do. Also, it’s not strictly accurate to say that the ad forced the DOJ to release the names of the lawyers. Fox News compiled the names based on an extensive review of court documents and then questioned the DOJ, at which point they confirmed the identities. Whether that would have happened without the ad is hard to say, but even if not, it amounts to an “ends justify the means” argument that likely wouldn’t fly if conservative lawyers were the target here. Drew does make a great point (which I’d forgotten) that the jihadis already had lawyers thanks to the military and thus didn’t need representation from any firms. Starr addresses that near the end of the clip, pointing to this op-ed by Walter Dellinger about the military-assigned lawyers requesting help from private practitioners. Again, that’s a courtesy that wouldn’t be extended to most public defenders, but then the military attorneys have to deal with a newly created tribunal system dealing with novel questions of law. Apples and oranges? Judge for yourself.

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